George Michael's former Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley paid an emotional tribute to the late star during a rare public appearance at the Brit Awards Wednesday.
Ridgeley took the stage inside London’s O2 Arena to honor his former bandmate and close friend.
He was joined on stage by Wham!’s back-up singers Helen "Pepsi" DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman.
"We were the best of friends," Ridgeley said. "We monkeyed around recording sketches and jingles in George's bedroom. On November 5, 1979, I phoned George and said 'It's now or never.' Then we formed our first band."
As the trio teared up, they all shared their words of remembrance of the “Freedom ’90” singer.
"His is a legacy of unquestionable brilliance which will continue to shine and resonate for generations to come," Ridgeley added. "George has left in his songs, in the transcendent beauty of his voice, and in the poetic expression of his soul, the very best of himself. I loved him, and in turn we, you, have been loved."
“His voice stands as George’s eternal eulogy,” Ridgeley stated before calling Coldplay’s Chris Martin to the stage as the singer performed the Wham! song “A Different Corner.”
The Brit Awards also featured posthumous trophies awarded to David Bowie, who won Best British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year.
The British Male Solo Artist Award was accepted by Dexter actor Michael C. Hall, who starred in the off-Broadway musical Lazarus, which Bowie wrote.
“If David Bowie could be here tonight, he probably wouldn’t be here tonight,” Hall said which was a joke about the late singer’s seldom public appearances later in his life.
Yet, the most poignant moment came when Bowie’s son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, accepted his dad’s award for British Album of the Year. The singer’s swan song, Blackstar, which was released a few days before the 69-year-old's death in January 2016, was the album honored.
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher referred to Bowie as “the king” as Jones came walking to the stage.
“I lost my dad last year but I also became a dad," a teary-eyed Jones said. "I was spending a lot of time trying to get over the shock and trying to work out what would I want my son to know about his granddad?
"I think it would be the same thing most of my dad’s fans have taken over the last 50 years — he has always been there supporting people who think they are a little bit weird, or a little bit strange, and a little bit different. He has always been there for them. This award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks."